Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, facing defeat on his "Obamacare" replacement, says he will push the Senate to pass a clean repeal bill.
The Republican leader made the announcement in a statement that came a few hours after two Republican senators dealt a fatal blow to the replacement bill unveiled last Thursday. Sens. Jerry Moran and Mike Lee joined two other senators in opposing the legislation, meaning McConnell lacked the votes to move ahead.
The Kentucky Republican says, "regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful."
McConnell says that in the coming days, the Senate will consider the House-passed bill, with the first order of business a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay.
He is not saying when the vote will occur.
Trump tweeted about the bill Monday night, saying Republicans should "just repeal" Obamacare and "start from a clean slate," claiming Democrats would "join in."
Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now & work on a new Healthcare Plan that will start from a clean slate. Dems will join in!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2017
The Senate bill eliminated mandates and taxes under Obamacare, and unraveled a Medicaid expansion. But for conservatives like Lee and Paul it didn't go far enough in delivering on Republican Party promises to undo Obama's law, while moderates like Collins viewed the bill as too extreme in yanking insurance coverage from millions.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell released a statement:
Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.
So, in the coming days, the Senate will vote to take up the House bill with the first amendment in order being what a majority of the Senate has already supported in 2015 and that was vetoed by then-President Obama: a repeal of Obamacare with a two-year delay to provide for a stable transition period to a patient-centered health care system that gives Americans access to quality, affordable care.